Challenging Minimum Deterrence: Articulating the Contemporary Relevance of Nuclear Weapons
Air Force Research Institute Maxwell AFB United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Since the end of the Cold War, the enduring relevance of nuclear weapons has been the subject of immense debate with policy analysts proposing several alternative nuclear postures meant to address the evolving geopolitical circumstances of the United States. These range from the extreme positions of complete nuclear abolition to a renewed interest in war-fighting roles for US nuclear weapons. The current need to initiate recapitalization programs for key elements of the US nuclear force gives this debate added meaning and urgency. One alternative currently under discussionis minimum deterrence. This article evaluates minimum deterrence as an alternative nuclear posture for the United States and introduces dual deterrence as a more suitable framework for understanding the contemporary relevance of US nuclear weapons.